Reply To: I am not afraid to fail, but its NOT good

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I don’t really like the word “motivation” since it is a very convoluted term. This has nothing to do with “motivation” or “fear of failure” in the way society (most of whom are neurotypical) refer to them. In a sense, there are really 2 types of “motivation” —— motivation produced by the release of dopamine into the brain and the motivation produced by deep personal drive and desire.

ADHD brains have interest-based nervous systems. Interest is what “motivates” us neurologically. It is a snap “moment of interest” that produces a release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain that “motivates” a person to take action.

I am ADD (and arguably slightly OCD, ha). If open my desk drawer to get a stapler and I notice how messy the drawer is. That snap moment of *interest* in what I saw triggers a dopamine release that motivates me to act…..Furthermore (whole different issue that may or may not be relevant to you), if I am not good about managing my ADD’s interest-based nervous system, I will act the way my mind/body just motivated me to act, and I will go for it, organize my drawer, possibly my entire office, and likely never staple whatever needed to be stapled

Personally, I don’t like making phone calls, but I enjoy phone CONVERSATIONS. Important distinction. Phone calls (once I dial) are conversations. Conversations usually interest me. Thus, it triggers a dopamine release.

That dopamine release motivates me into action—to keep the conversation going —and gives me energy and momentum to build on so I can typically move forward with the next task, particularly if it is a task in some way related to the call.

Neurotypicals have more dopamine and they have a reward-based nervous system. They get their dopamine release when they imagine the the “reward” (the feeling that comes with the completion of the phone call). We both desire the same thing, but we are **motivated** into action in different ways.

My guess is that during those months there was a lack of those *moments* of interest… those moments interest that trigger a dopamine release, and “motivate” you to literally pick up the phone, make the call, get that dopamine “hit” and roll from there.

My guess is that you weren’t afraid of failure either, because you are *able to of doing each specific task required of you. However, over time you likely developed anxiety/fear of failing to *execute your tasks, since each day you did not. Frankly, seems logical. Unfortunately, that would make it almost impossible to get yourself to pick up the phone.

Regarding “motivation” in the other sense? Well, you clearly don’t lack that. Who wake up every morning, for months, ready and hopeful for a great work day, despite having failed each day prior? A really motivated person.

Does this resonate?

I’m curious because, if so, I’ve been there.